Previously Published on 11/5/2012
“The knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone; the thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone…” Do you remember that song from your childhood? I do. In fact, it’s been echoing through my head all week. Several weeks ago, I slept funny and managed to knock something out of joint in my shoulder. I hoped that it would work itself out, but after several weeks, the pain just kept getting worse. In fact, not only did my shoulder continue to hurt, but the pain moved down my arm into my wrist and hands. Finally, it reached a point where I no longer had feeling in a couple of fingers. It was then that I gave up hope of it “working itself out” and called a doctor.
A local chiropractor was able to get everything back in line, but the pain didn’t stop immediately. It was better, but it took several adjustments for things to start feeling right again. And, all of that time has given me the opportunity to think about how things are connected. Everything in our body is interdependent upon another system to work properly. If things are out of sync with our skeletal system, it puts strain on muscles and nerves. We are complex beings full of intricate systems of cells, organs, vessels and bones that make us who we are. When one is out of joint, the others suffer.
And, so I think it is in the body of Christ. The writer of Hebrews tells us to
“consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25).
We are meant to lean on one another, to encourage one another.
And, our gifts are meant to be complimentary. My shoulder doesn’t have the same job as my hand or wrist, but they have a difficult time operating correctly when the shoulder is misbehaving. Each one has its role. And, so it is in the body of Christ. Romans 12:3-8 says it very clearly:
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
We’re all connected, just like the systems of the body. We are created to contribute uniquely and specifically to the body of Christ. Our gifts and talents are planted with purpose within us so that we may bless others and glorify the Lord. Do you know what your gifts are? Are you using them? Are you connecting? And, when things get out of sync, make sure you’re gathering with other believers and build each other up. It’s how we’re made. We’re all connected after all.